Fox Sports cuts web writing staff to invest more in online video – Chicago Tribune

21st Century Fox Inc.’s sports department is overhauling its online operations, eliminating the writing staff to invest in more-lucrative video production.

Fox Sports will eliminate about 20 writing and editing positions in Los Angeles and replace them with a similar number of jobs in video production, editing and promotion. Executives told staff in meetings Monday after outlining the new strategy in a memo obtained by Bloomberg. Affected employees will be encouraged to apply for the new posts.

The owner of Fox News and the Fox broadcast network has decided that paying writers to cover sporting events, pen columns or grade teams’ NBA draft moves is best left to ESPN and other news-focused sports sites. Fox is opting to divert those resources into producing online video that complements on-air shows, can be packaged into advertising sales across the web and TV, and has the potential to go viral on social media.

News outlets of all shapes and sizes are making a transition from the written word to video.Vice Media Inc. and BuzzFeed Inc. have raised millions from investors at valuations surpassing $1 billion because of their potential in video — not written news. Newspapers like the New York Times and magazine publishers like Conde Nast are pouring more resources into video as well.

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